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Reactor vessel awaits second try to get to Plant Vogtle

Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 2:24 PM
Last updated 10:08 PM
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Federal regulators say a failed effort to move a 300-ton reactor vessel from Savan­nah, Ga., to Plant Vogtle was a minor incident spawned by a simple safety concern that will not affect the component’s delivery to the site.

The 300-ton reactor vessel, seen before its aborted trip out of Savannah, Ga., on Dec. 15, will be checked by federal inspectors whenever it arrives at Plant Vogtle.  TOM CLEMENTS/SPECIAL
TOM CLEMENTS/SPECIAL
The 300-ton reactor vessel, seen before its aborted trip out of Savannah, Ga., on Dec. 15, will be checked by federal inspectors whenever it arrives at Plant Vogtle.

“It was fully contained in shrink wrap and there was no damage, not even to the shrink wrap itself,” said Joey Ledf­ord, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

A Dec. 15 attempt to move the vessel by rail was aborted after the vessel traveled less than a mile aboard a specially designed transport car, which was then returned to its storage site at the Port of Savannah.

Ledford said engineers detected a slight movement in the platform on which the Korean-built reactor vessel was mounted.

“We were told they had gotten just a quarter of a mile, never going more than 2 mph, with people walking along it the whole time,” he said.

Contractors stopped the train and moved the reactor vessel off-center to enable engineers to better evaluate the alignment of the platform.

“At that point they made a decision to move it back into the port for further review,” Ledford said.

The NRC was briefed on the incident, which did not meet criteria for a formal report or additional oversight. After the reactor vessel arrives at Vogtle, NRC inspectors will conduct a “receiving inspection.”

A Georgia Power spokesman was unsure when the unit will be moved again but said there is no date yet for its arrival.

A nuclear watchdog group called attention Monday to the vessel’s unguarded storage location, saying it could be vulnerable to sabotage, vandalism or corrosion from salt air.

Though the vessel is covered by a large tarp and is not directly visible, “beyond an occasional drive-by of vehicles, there was no security of any kind nor were any repair or inspection activities observed,” said Tom Clements, of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.

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Riverman1
70960
Points
Riverman1 01/15/13 - 05:56 am
2
0

An observation. Something can

An observation. Something can be damaged while keeping the shrink wrap intact.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 01/15/13 - 06:23 am
1
1

"We've experienced a "slight"

"We've experienced a "slight" meltdown. Nothing to see here. Move along, move along."

I think I'll shrink wrap my car the next time I have to drive on Bobby Jones.

TK3
562
Points
TK3 01/15/13 - 09:31 am
1
0

Korean-built reactor vessel

Sad how far we have fallen;
"the Korean-built reactor vessel".

seenitB4
73219
Points
seenitB4 01/15/13 - 09:39 am
1
0

Is Barney Fife moving this

Saay what......omg....what if the dang thing had been on a slope....

Little Lamb
40303
Points
Little Lamb 01/15/13 - 10:21 am
0
1

Unguarded

From the story:

A nuclear watchdog group called attention Monday to the vessel’s unguarded storage location. . . .

It's just a steel pot with some holes in it. There's nothing "nuclear" about it, yet. Even when it's installed and operating with nuclear fuel in it, it is supposed to be able to withstand severe stresses. Rolling off a railroad platform car is no hill to a stepper.

itsanotherday1
34929
Points
itsanotherday1 01/15/13 - 10:57 am
0
1

Yup, the anti-nukes just

Yup, the anti-nukes just making mountains out of molehills as usual.

SCEagle Eye
732
Points
SCEagle Eye 01/15/13 - 12:41 pm
1
0

how wil they move it?

The questions begs: how will Westinghouse/Shaw/Southern Company move the reactor vessel? What's the plan? It's been stuck for a month so there must be trouble with the engineering of the car or with the rail line or something. Why did the companies try to keep the December 15 rail car problem a secret and why aren't they saying what they will do? Pretty embarrassing for sure but how deep do the problems with moving that massive piece of steel go? Oh, and what's the daily parking fee for a reactor in the port? Maybe it can be hooked up to supply the port area with a little electricity while it just sits and sits and sits?!

SCEagle Eye
732
Points
SCEagle Eye 01/17/13 - 05:34 pm
1
0

no plan means trouble runs deep?

A few more days have passed and still no word on the plan, if there is one, to move this reactor vessel out of Savannah! What's up Westinghouse, Shaw, Southern Company and Georgia Power? Get over you deep embarrassment and reveal the truth about the situation.

Buzz Lightyear
4
Points
Buzz Lightyear 01/21/13 - 09:52 pm
0
0

SCEagle Eye

Before you keep spouting off on some bs rant let me lay the law down.

-Westinghouse is responsible for transport/delivery of the reactor not SHAW or Southern.
-The rail car used to transport the reactor is a "Schnabel Car" which was specifically designed for transport of the reactor by Westinghouse. How many Schnabel cars do you think are laying around the US ready to transport reactors around? You would be an idiot to think its a quick fix repair.
- When something goes wrong at your job does everyone hear about it? Why is a company obligated to go public and call the media when a construction issue arises?
-Why do you believe any of these companies are obligated to go public with the recovery plan? Are you expecting a press conference??

Buzz Lightyear
4
Points
Buzz Lightyear 01/21/13 - 09:57 pm
0
0

Korean Reactor

The reactor was built in korea for many reasons. At one point in time the US was the best in steel manufacturing/fabrication. The US used to have large foundries and materials to support the manufacturing/fabrication of this type of vessel. About 30 years ago all of those US companies have decided to sell every piece of equipment to the Koreans and the Japanese. There is not one company in the US that has the capability to make such a vessel. The only two countries IN THE WORLD with the technology to build a reactor vessel are the Japanese or the Koreans (a total of about 4 companies). Sorry folks it is not possible to slap a BUILT IN THE USA sticker on reactor vessels. The US gave up real jobs, nobody wants to work anymore.

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